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News Release

Feb. 8, 2019

New scholarship for student teachers honors legacy of staff member

Joyce Luke

Joyce Luke

The family of a Northwest Missouri State University staff member who found her passion assisting student teachers with their field experiences has established a scholarship in her honor to aid future student teachers at the University.

The family of Joyce Luke has established an endowed scholarship, the Joyce Luke Education Scholarship, with the assistance of cash gifts totaling more than $10,000. She had served as the assistant director of field experiences since 2009 when she passed away last November, at the age of 54.

“She worked in the area of placing student teachers, and when she was in the hospital, we had a tremendous amount of text messages and social media messages from previous students she helped place, thanking her for going above and beyond and taking the time to help them,” Mike Luke, Joyce’s brother, said. “We just knew we needed to keep helping kids in her name.”

A Maryville native, Joyce earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations at Northwest in 1990. She was diagnosed with cancer at age 29 and could not have children of her own. That fueled her passion of supporting and helping students succeed at Northwest and in life, Mike said.

“No matter what life throws at you, you have to have a positive attitude,” Mike said. “If a person didn’t know her personally, they would never have known the struggles and hardships she was facing. She seemed to always think of others before herself.”

Joyce’s impact on the School of Education lives on as her colleagues remember her hard-working, outgoing personality and her dedication to students and the School’s mission. Dr. Shantel Farnan, an assistant professor of professional education and friend of Joyce’s for more than 20 years, recalls the way she made others feel as if they were her top priority.

“She was very passionate about her job, her student teachers, her faculty, her colleagues, her student workers and graduate assistants and brought a personal touch to each aspect of her career,” Farnan said. “The emphasis on ‘her’ is intentional – as, for Joyce, she felt personally and professionally responsible for the success and happiness of all who entered the office. Her joy, professionalism, problem-solving skills and compassion will live on in each of us who had the pleasure of working with her and those thousands of students she has sent on their way to success over the years.” 

Recipients of the Joyce Luke Education Scholarship must be senior education majors with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0. The scholarship will be awarded to students during their student teaching semester with first preference given to student teachers in rural areas. Recipients will be determined by a committee of faculty in the School of Education.

The scholarship will help ease anxiety for students transitioning to student teaching and provide financial support for those students who may need to eliminate or decrease the hours they work other jobs because of their student teaching responsibilities.

“This scholarship is vital,” Dr. Timothy Wall, the dean of the School of Education, said. “A university education is a valuable investment in ourselves. In education, salaries are consistently less than in business, engineering or high-tech fields. So, every dollar of scholarship support lightens the load on a group of people who do such meaningful work without the expected future earnings in other fields. Joyce would have been thrilled to celebrate our students and support them, as she always did.”

To support the Joyce Luke Education Scholarship, submit a tax-deductible gift to the Northwest Foundation at 800 University Dr., Maryville, MO 64468 or visit For more information, contact Northwest’s Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215